How Bad Password Management Can Put Your Small Business at Serious Risk

The most vulnerable part of every door is the key that unlocks it. We need our keys to get in and out, but we must also protect our keys to keep bad guys from getting hold of them. By the same token, your passwords—your online set of keys, if you will—represent the most vulnerable point in your online accounts. If you create passwords that are too easy to guess, or if you leave your passwords where people can access them, you could open your small business up to an online catastrophe.

Password mismanagement comes in many forms. Let’s look at a few of the most common.

Making Passwords Too Simple

According to Engadget, one of the 5 most common ways hackers break into accounts is simply by “guessing” the password. They do this using sophisticated software that can run through thousands of guesses per second using common phrases and number/letter combinations. If a password is too short or too common, a good hacking program can sometimes decipher it within minutes, and the cybercrook can be in your account within seconds. And the damage caused in those few seconds could take you years to fix.

Using One Password for Multiple Accounts

Most of us have a difficult time remembering one password, let alone ten. Our solution: Create one complex password and use it for all our accounts. It’s a huge mistake, one that cybercriminals count on. If a hacker is able to guess your password for one account, he will most likely knock on other account doors using that password. In a few minutes, a smart hacker can empty all your bank accounts, change passwords on your critical social media accounts and wreak havoc in many other ways. No matter how challenging to remember, always use a different password for every online account.

Keeping Passwords in an Insecure Location

Another solution we create for remembering multiple passwords is to write them down somewhere. Just remember that doing so creates another vulnerability. If you don’t keep your passwords under lock and key, someone could easily find them and use them. In the same way, keeping your passwords in an unencrypted file on your computer also makes them vulnerable if a hacker gains access.

Sending Passwords via an Insecure Channel

If you need to share your password with someone else in or out of your company—for example, if hire someone to run your social media—emailing or texting your passwords makes them extremely vulnerable. Hackers love to plant small spyware or malware programs in unexpected places, and if someone is monitoring your email accounts—or if your email itself gets hacked—you’ve just handed your online keys to your enemy.

Despite all the online security tools in place to day and the various ways hackers try to get around them, one principle remains the same: Cybersecurity starts with you. More specifically, it starts with your passwords. Manage them wisely and keep them safe to protect your business interests. For more tips on safe password management, give NetServ a call at 1-877-NetServ.

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